Lesson plan

Distinguish dependent from independent variables in real-world situations

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.6.EE.B.6 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/EE/B/6
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.6.EE.C.9 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/EE/C/9
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP8 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP8

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Big Ideas: In mathematical relationships, the value of one quantity depends on the value of the other quantity. Variables have many different meanings, depending on context and purpose. Independent and dependent variables may have a proportional relationship and that relationship can be used to predict unknowns and solve problems. This lesson builds on students’ work with dependent and independent variables. In the task, students are presented with a figure and asked to judge if they have collected enough pennies to reach a mile. Students are set up to discover that dependent and independent values can be altered depending on the problem context. The mathematical concepts in this lesson build toward students’ future work with expressions, equations and proportional reasoning in grades 6-8. This task comes at the end of an expressions/equation unit and helps students show their understanding of independent and dependent values. Special Materials: Enough pennies for each student or pair of students to measure their desk or table. At least one quarter for students who work on Practice C to measure.